Colonel Esteban Cantu the first territorial governor of Baja California Norte, was an extraordinary military officer, and a visionary with an unusual capacity to understand and extend compassion to others.
Esteban Cantu was born November 27, 1880 in Linares, Nuveo Leon, Mexico to family descendant from the Spanish region of Navarre. He attended the Colegio Militar de Chapultepec, the oldest military school in the western hemisphere, established by Hernan Cortez. Upon graduation in 1899 Col. Cantu dedicated his life to serving his country.
In 1911 the Federal army sent Cantu to Mexicali, Baja California to colonize and protect the territory. He quickly declared baja California as neutral territory and implemented educational and economic reforms. One of his most outstanding accomplishments during his time as governor was to construct a road through the mountains to join the desert with coastal region.
In 1913 Col. Cantu married Ana Carlit Feliz, a member of a prominent Sonoran and early California cattle ranching family. They were parents of five children.
In 1920′s the national power fell into the hands of political trio: Obregon, Calles and Rodriquez. Cantu exiled himself to the United States. It was then that he purchased the ranch in Mira Loma.
It was used as a means to maintain his former soldiers, who in tradition of good cavalrymen, were now vaqueros. His most trusted friend, Lt. Luis Parma and his family, would be assigned caretaker of the ranch. The Parma’s would remain in the Riverside area to become very prominent in business and politics.